Authored by Andrew Korybko via The Automatic Earth blog,
The “official narrative” surrounding the Ukrainian Conflict has flipped in recent weeks from prematurely celebrating Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory to nowadays seriously warning about its likely loss.
It was therefore expected in hindsight that other dimensions of the information warfare campaign waged by the US-led West’s Golden Billion against Russia would also change. As proof of precisely that, the New York Times (NYT) just admitted that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are a failure.
In Ana Swanson’s article about how “Russia Sidesteps Western Punishments, With Help From Friends”, she cites Western experts who concluded that “Russia’s imports may have already recovered to prewar levels, or will soon do so, depending on their models.” Even more compelling, she references the IMF’s latest assessment from Monday, which “now expected the Russian economy to grow 0.3 percent this year, a sharp improvement from its previous estimate of a 2.3 percent contraction.”
Neither the NYT, the Western experts that Swanson cites, nor the IMF can credibly be accused of being “Russian-friendly”, let alone so-called “Russian propagandists” or even “Russian agents”, which thus confirms the observation that this dimension of the Golden Billion’s infowar has also decisively shifted. The fact of the matter is that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions failed to catalyze the collapse of that targeted multipolar Great Power’s economy, which continues to remain impressively resilient.
The timing at which this narrative changed is also important because it extends credence to the more widely known new narrative that’s nowadays seriously warning about Kiev’s likely loss in NATO’s proxy war on Russia. After all, if the sanctions achieved the goal that they were supposed to and which the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) hitherto lied that they supposedly had, then it naturally follows that Kiev would “inevitably” win exactly as they claimed would happen up until mid-January.
With this in mind, the most effective way to “reprogram” the average Westerner after brainwashing them over the past 11 months into expecting Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory is to also decisively change the supplementary narratives that artificially manufactured that aforesaid false conclusion. To that end, the order was given to begin raising the public’s awareness about the failure of the Golden Billion’s anti-Russian sanctions, ergo the NYT’s latest piece and the specific timing thereof.
What’s left unsaid in that article is the “politically incorrect” but nevertheless heavily implied observation that the jointly BRICS– & SCO-led Global South of which Russia is a part has defied the Golden Billion’s demands to “isolate” that multipolar Great Power. No MSM outlet will ever admit it, at least not yet, but their de facto New Cold War bloc has limited sway outside the US’ recently restored “sphere of influence” in Europe, whose countries are the only ones suffering from these sanctions.
The NYT’s latest piece might inadvertently make many members of their public conscious of that, however, and they might therefore increasingly object to their governments scaling up their commitment to NATO’s proxy war on Russia under American pressure. Croatian President Zoran Milanovic recently joined Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in condemning this campaign and raising wider awareness of just how counterproductive it’s been for Europe’s objective interests.
As Europeans come to realize that they’re the only ones suffering from the anti-Russian sanctions that their American overlord coerced them into imposing and that their sacrifices haven’t adversely affected that targeted multipolar Great Power’s special operation, massive unrest might follow. It’s unlikely to influence their US-controlled leaders into reversing course, remembering that the German Foreign Minister vowed late last year never to do so, but could instead catalyze a violent police crackdown.
The reason behind this pessimistic prediction is that a reversal or at the very least lessening of the presently rigid anti-Russian sanctions regime would represent an unprecedentedly independent move by whichever European state(s) does/do so. Seeing as how that didn’t even happen in the eight years prior to the US’ successful reassertion of its unipolar hegemony all across 2022, the likelihood of that happening nowadays under those much more difficult conditions is practically nil.
The US’ “Lead From Behind” subordinate for “managing” European affairs as part of its new so-called “burden-sharing” strategy, Germany, has more than enough levers of economic, institutional, and political influence to several punish any of those lower-tier American vassals who get out of place. It’s therefore unrealistic to expect any single EU member to unilaterally defy the bloc’s anti-Russian sanctions that their own government previously agreed to.
Considering this reality, those leaders who want to remain in power or at least not risk the US’ German-driven Hybrid War wrath against their economies are loath restore a semblance of their largely lost sovereignty in such a dramatic manner. Instead, their most pragmatic course of action is to not participate in the military aspect of this proxy war by refusing to dispatch arms to Kiev exactly as the emerging Central European pragmatic bloc of Austria, Croatia, and Hungary have done.
The population of those countries are thus unlikely to protest against the sanctions even after being made aware of the facts contained in the NYT’s latest piece and naturally coming to the conclusion that the anti-Russian sanctions have only harmed their own economies and not that targeted Great Power’s. Folks in France, Germany, and Italy, however, could very well react differently, especially considering their tradition of organizing massive protests.
In such a scenario, their governments are expected to order a violent police crackdown under whatever pretext they concoct, whether it’s falsely accusing the protesters of employing violence first or accusing them all of being so-called “Russian agents”. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome will be the same whereby Western European countries will slide deeper into liberal-totalitarian dictatorship, which will in turn contribute to further radicalizing their population towards uncertain ends.
Returning back to the NYT’s piece, it represents a remarkable reversal of the “official narrative” by frankly admitting that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are a failure. This coincides with the decisive shift of the larger narrative driven by American and Polish leaders over the past month whereby they’re nowadays seriously warning about Kiev’s likely loss in NATO’s proxy war on Russia.
It remains to be seen what other narratives will change as well, but it’s predicted that more such ones will inevitably do so.
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